Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Keeping Things Within Bounds, Time-Wise

A selection from a letter by William Still to his congregation, Gilcomston South Church of Scotland, Aberdeen. He wrote a pastoral letter to his people each month. Having a lengthy pastorate there meant he wrote hundreds of letters which take up many themes. This letter is an appeal to backsliders but he also addressed a complaint that the services were too long. It was written May, 1970.

I know my faults, and realize the danger that meetings can go on too long. Many feel this and often appeal to me to try to keep the meetings, as well as the services, within bounds. And we are learning, slowly, although I must admit that it is hard to have one’s enthusiasm for the Word and the things of God clipped because people nag about the length of meetings. Do not I also need to consider my body? But I am determined to try to keep things within bounds, time-wise, because it is often our keenest folk who are most definite that the time factor must be observed. Yet the Lord and His Word and His work are so preoccupying that it is the easiest thing in the world to forget the clock and go on and on. Would you not like to be so caught up with the movements of the Spirit working in, from, and through, our congregation that time cease to be an overruling or dominant factor?

The Letters of William Still, The Banner of Truth, 1984, pp. 105-06.

No comments: